Straight outta the Enterprise‘s engineering lab comes the newly-launched Google Goggles for mobile platforms, which can translate text from photographs in English, Italian, French, German and Spanish. No word on Klingon, yet.
But seriously, this is for real – just snap a photo of the desired text and Goggles will translate it into your language… or another one, if you don’t feel like making any sensible use of the app. Any way you slice it, this is possibly the biggest boon to prolific world travelers in decades, as it renders obsolete the awkward practice of thumbing through a translation dictionary in restaurants. Now instead, you can awkwardly take photos of the menu items.
This is a significant step for technology in general, too: it means that computers are getting better at interpreting their surroundings, rather than just recording them. Next up: The Borg.